Real Wheels: 1968 Ford Fairlane 500 GT Convertible -- hidden treasure

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Aug. 20—COLUMBUS GROVE — Toby Renner, of Columbus Grove, brought his 1968 Ford Fairlane 500 GT Convertible to the Westgate Charity Car Show. He has owned the car for approximately one year.

"I found this in a garage in Perry, Ohio, up by Cleveland. It was covered in paint cans, and had a tarp over it," said Renner. "I liked it. I was into cars before having kids. Now I'm back into it."

The Ford Fairlane was introduced in 1955 and produced until 1970. Ford produced the Fairlane as its full-size model. It was available in six different body styles. The Fairlane was always changing and therefore, always surviving. The sporty version of the Fairlane 500 was the GT. The GT model included all of the Fairlane 500 features plus the 302 cubic-inch V8 engine. The interior featured bucket seats and console.

The name Fairlane came from Henry Ford himself. It was named after his estate in Detroit, Michigan. His estate was Fair Lane. Though it was touted as Ford's full-size model in 1955, by 1962 it was Ford's mid-size model.

A style modification was featured for the 1968 model year. The length of the car grew approximately four inches and the weight of the car grew as well. More than 370,000 Fairlanes were sold in 1968.

Renner's car includes the 302 engine and is an automatic.

His love of cars comes from his dad.

"My dad had a body shop when I was a kid. It gets in your blood and you can't get it out," said Renner.

Renner's son, Rossin Renner accompanied him to the car show. Rossin too owns a classic, a 1976 Ford Pinto.

"We go places and people pass mine up and talk to him about his Pinto," laughed Renner.

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